Archives for category: Brain Quizzes


According to the BBC’s ‘Brain Sex‘ quiz, my brain is exactly half boy, half girl, i.e. on-balance for skills that are traditionally male (spatial, logic) and traditionally female (emotion, intuition).

It’s a weird kind of thought.

Thankfully they explain it a bit as you go through each task: in essence, the majority of the differences between male and female brains are thought to be due to hormone differences and how they affect the development of the brain.

For example, men generally outperform women at “spatial tasks”, (although many women also score extremely well), and one theory suggests that exposure to higher levels of testosterone before birth gives men an added advantage because testosterone may stimulate the development of the right hemisphere of the brain – the side that contributes most to spatial awareness.

Females, on the other hand, tend to outperform men on tasks about “object position” (e.g. “has anyone seen the car keys?”), and some scientists think that women’s oestrogen levels make them much better at noticing details of their environment and spotting changes.

This perhaps also explains why women tend to perform better at ‘The Reading The Mind In The Eyes’ test devised by Simon Baron Cohen (Sacha Baron Cohen cousin!) which measures how well men and women display empathy towards others.

The amount of testosterone we are exposed to in the womb is also thought to influence the growth of our ring fingers. This theory may explain why men’s ring fingers are often longer than their index fingers. The average male ratio is .96. On average, women’s index and ring fingers are more or less of equal length, with a ratio of around 1.00. There is even some evidence that our finger ratio can be affected by the number of older brothers we have!

Want to know which side of your brain is more dominant?

What kinds of faces you find attractive and why?

Take the quiz now and rate your own brain’s gender at bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody

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Like your body muscles, your brain needs to keep fit in order to function best. Not giving your brain enough stimulation definitely has its consequences, so the key to keep your grey matter from going mushy is: move it or lose it.

The reason is that the brain is highly flexible – known as ‘neuroplasticity’ – and the pathways your neurons create when you learn something new are ever-changing. However, easily as they can be created, they can also be lost.

But never fear! The parts of your brain associated with memory and information processing are highly adaptable and with some practice, you can train your brain to pick up where you let it drop off.

So, got a spare minute? Get your matter moving with some brain teasers that will keep those neurons firing.

Good brain puzzles:

  • The New York Times crossword – subscribe for $1 to the infamous New York Times crossword and join the global millions to attempt this everyday. For a reward once you’re done, treat yourself to watching Patrick Creadon’s excellent documentary ‘Wordplay‘ which looks at die-hard NYT crossword fans, among them Bill Clinton.
  • Word and number puzzles
  • Soduku
  • Trivia – go to a night at your local pub or find trivia quizzes online at braingle.com
  • Try a jigsaw puzzle! Yes, remember those?

Or, if you’re on-the-go head to the apple store for a list of brain puzzles to enjoy.

Eating well, getting plenty of sleep, having good relationships, and managing stress levels all affect the functional capabilities of our brains. For other tips on keeping your brain and memory sharp go to helpguide.org.

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